Anne and Bob's 2009 trip to Australia
October 7 - 28, 2009
Wednesday, Oct. 7 - Landvetter airport 18:06 - Already a little "excitment" as Bob was bitten by a tick Monday evening and on the way to the airport a trip had to be made to the drugstore to pick up penicillin. Of course there was lots of time since Karin, who was to drive their car from the airport, phoned to say her train from Örebro was held up and she'd be an hour late to Borås. But we did make it here to the airport on time. We will change planes in Frankfurt and fly with Australia's Quantas the rest of the way.
Thursday, Oct. 8 - We had a short stopover at the Singapore airport before continuing on to Sydney.
Friday, Oct. 9 - We landed in Sydney early this morning and Anne D., of our hostess picked us up at the airport at 6:30 in the morning. Since then we've been to the Darvedolskys for lunch, seen a kookaburra and later a bush turkey outside the kitchen window, and picked up our bibs for tomorrow's Sprint Orienteering competition. In tomorrow's qualification event there are 77 competitors in Anne's class and 123 in Bob's class. Altogether there are over 28,000 competitors registered for the World Master Games
Saturday, Oct 10 - Anne and Bob ran in the Orienteering sprint qualification event, where Anne had the 4th best time and Bob the 2nd best time, beaten by 1 second. The weather was sunny and around 20 degrees.
Sunday, Oct. 11 - Anne got a silver medal in the Sprint Orienteering final! Bob ran a poor race and ended up 6th in his class. The finish for the sprint event final was in the wood-chopping stadium used at Sydney's Royal Easter Show. In case you didn't know, the World Master Games are the Olympics for people over 35 yrs old and are held every 4 years.
Monday, Oct 12 - Today was an relaxing day. Anne and Bob went down the hill behind the Darvodelsky's and followed a path to a Bower's nest on the ground surrounded by many "things" of blue that a male bird had collected and surrounded his nest with to attract a female. Below are some pictures that Bob took today.
The path we followed
A Bower nest with blue decorations
Wednesday, Oct 14 - We've been off to the west of the Blue Mountains to the qualifying races for the long distance orienteering competition (with no internet). The first day we were up looking at some model controls in sandstone terrain (some pictures to the right and below.) Today Anne ran an open course in the terrain where the first qualifying race was held. It was extremely windy at the start as you can see by Anne's hair in a picture below.
Here are 2 pictures of the spectacular sandstone formations. (Don't forget to click on the pictures to see a larger image.)
Friday, Oct 16 - Today Bob was to run a qualifying heat for his 1500m, but because a number of registered competitors didn't show up, all 14 competitors get to run in tomorrow's final. Everytime we read or hear about a forest fire in Australia we always wonder exactly where it is and sometimes when it sounds really big and near to Sydney we phone and check. Our hosts Mark and Anne are both very active in the Volunteer Fire Brigade and are often called out to fight. Today they tried out their new clothing which they wore to a funeral for one of their fire-fighting friends. On Anne's back to the right you see the name of their section Ku-Ring-Gai
Sunday, Oct 18 - On our last day with Mark and Anne, we had a couple of excursions. First Anne and Bob went for a walk through the Botanical Gardens where we saw not only "botany" but a number of interesting winged animals. Later on we met Mark and Anne and took the ferry across to Manly, a penninsula that is extremely popular with tourists with its long sandy beach. On the way over and back we passed not only the Sydney Opera House but a Fort Dennison, which many years ago was a sort of mini Alcatraz. To the right and below are some of the pictures from today's trip.
We didn't touch the Flying Foxes
Here they don't look like they're flying
but this one was
We saw a few of these
This one wanted to eat with us
Anne's in front of a Moreton Bay Fig
The man in the background is playing an aboriginal Didgeridoo. Anne just bought one of his recordings from the man with the drumming sticks
Anne puchased the Message Stick from the artist on the left
Here we were on the ferry to Manly and Mark had the camera.
part of the Manly beach
Fort Denison on its tiny island - Alcatraz
Sydney Opera House
Monday, Oct 19 - Today, there were no pictures taken. We packed at the Darvodelskys' and left one bag at the Davis', before taking the trains to the airport. Then we flew via Tiger airways to Melbourne, where boarded a small bus headed for Ballarat. When we get there (about 22:40), Dale or Blake will probably pick us up and take us to their beautiful place in the countryside.Dale and Blake Gordon were the managers of the Australian National team in 1987, when Bob was coach. This is the second time we've had the good fortune of a wonderful visit at their homestead in Ballarat. The first time we were here they took us to a rain forest and an orienteering coompetitition in gold-mining terrain.
Tuesday, Oct 20 - Our first day at the Gordons' was eventful as expected. While I was out with Blake setting out controls for an orienteering event he has tomorrow, Anne was out with Dale for a 6 km walk looking at flowers. Later I went out with Anne to take some pictures of the flowers. Then there were horses and some fishing in their pond for Rainbow.
Anne and Blake watched the horses,
while Dale worked
Now Anne and Blake supervised Dale's work
Bob caught a couple of Rainbow trout,
which got eaten.
Wednesday, Oct 21 - Today, while Blake ran his orienteering competition, Dale took us to Sovereign Hill, a re-creation of the gold-rush era of the 1850's. The whole day was filled with interesting experiences. The people working their were dressed in similar clothing to the ones used in the 1850's. Power was created as it was then with large wood furnaces heating water into steam that was then piped out to run all the large machines. We saw stage coaches, were down in mines, ate baked goods, saw lots of pulleys.......
Coming into the mining area
Anne panning for gold
Most things for sale
The Hope Bakery
Bob eating and drinking a traditional lamb baguette and Spider
One of the boilers
Water for the boiler
Loading a musket
The poppet head for deep mining
A track from the poppet head to the mullock heap
A U.S. hotel in Balarrat, featuring Lola Mandez
Underground in a mine
a blocked tunnel
A working stage coach
Smelting and pouring gold into a brick
worth over $100,00
By way of contrast - Bob with Blake's guitar
Thursday, Oct 22 - Part of our last day in Ballarat was spent at an historical museum concerned with Australia's aboriginal population, their world view and the decimating effect of the first influx of white settlers. Their were also 2 trips to the quilting shop where Anne bought some equipment so she could get started with Dale's hobby. On the way to airport Blake drove us by a field of wild kangaroos. And finally late in the evening we were met in Brisbane by Rod and Glenda Dominish and driven to their house on the northern boundaries of the city. We declined Rod's invitation of a late night workout in his gym and went to bed. Rod and Bob met first in 1972 at the Orienteering World Championships in Chechoslovakia, after which they had a memorable trip to Sweden.
A map of the distribution of the various aborigine tribes
Figures of particular interest are the first two columns
Relationship between the Worlds
A short summary of the Physical and Sacred Worlds
and the Human World
Some aborigine signs/symbols
One of Dale's patchwork bags
Some of the nearly 100 kangaroos we saw
Friday, Oct 23 - While Rod and Glenda went off to work, we had a very relaxing, pleasant day at their house high up in Brisbane, During the day Anne managed a couple of swims in the pool and we both went out for a 7 km run, up and down along the ridges in 25-30 degree weather. In the evening we all went out together to the Polish Club where the Brisbane Thirsty Hash House Harriers had their annual wild annual meeting. At the "meeting" we met a wild variety of "Australiens" steming from Ireland, England, Canada, France, U.S.A., Great Britain, New Zealand....
Saturday, Oct 24 - In about 2 years Rod and Glenda intend to move up neaer the Sunshine Coast so we drove north from Brisbane to check the place out. We stopped of at the Eumundi Market open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, where we bought a variety of items and listened to som entertainers. Among other things Bob bought a sign for Rod and Glendas retirement house where Rod could stagger in after a double decathalon or whatever. Later at the Sunshine Coast we watched kitesurfers while eating fish and chips, before talking a walk on the Tangelwood track where we saw an iguana. Following this was the drive back to Brisbane, a bit of take home Thai food and a Jacussi for Anne and Rod. Eumundi Market
Loaded with Market purchases
Some of the fish choices for Fish and Chips
Start of the Tangelwood track
Anne found a..what?
That usually looks like this
Anne on the Tanglewood Track
See the Iguana
Someone wrote one of our daughter's name in the sand
Not only sand at Sunshine beach
Relatively wild terrain at times
Sunday, Oct 25 - Early in the morning were were driven by Rod to the airport and landed in Sydney at 8:30 where Jock Davis picked us up.(Jock had been on the Australian Orienteering team inthe 80's when Bob was the coach. Jock was also course setter for the Orienteering long distance final at the World Master Games.) Directly from the airport we drove to the Sydney Opera House where we andered around outside for a while waiting for Nicke (jock's wife), Kerrin and Calum (J&N's children) and Margaret (Jocke's mother.) The opera was having an open house so we were able with 1,000's of other people to wander around inside the opera and concert buildings and listen to an excellent pianst and an organist who played the 1000-pipe pipe organ.
Opera House again
Jock about to climb the Opera house
Jock, Kerrin, Margaret, Calum, Anne, and Nicke
The inside the entrance to the concert hall
Inside the concert hal
Inside the Opera House
People walking on the top of the bridge
Monday, Oct 26 - Our last whole day in Australia featured rather rainy weather and we used it mostly taking it easy and getting organized. Bob was up to take a couple of pictures when Kerrin and Calum were leaving to catch the local train for school at the same time as Jock was leaving for his computing job. Nicke had already left for her train and was on her way to the legal firm where she is engaged in civil law. We checked that we had bought all the presents that we wanted. Anne went for a "longer than expected" run, but, after asking a couple of people for directions, ended back at the Davis'. Bob fiddled a bit on the piano. We also strolled a bit around the few shops in the suburb where we were staying and took some pizza "home" for supper with the Davis, except for Jock who was at cooking class.
Tuesday-Wednesday, Oct 27-28 - The last part-day in Australia was rather uneventful, as is/was our trip home (We're sitting at Heathrow as this is written). Anne was for a walk Tuesday morning before Nicke drove us to the airport. The one disappointment was that we had booked Australian Quantas for the trip home and it turned out that it was actually British Airways that had the flight. The food and "entertainment" on the way home was no comparison to Quantas, so if you travel to Australia, try to get Quantas.
If you've read this far and looked at our pictures, then you know that our trip to Australia has been great. We are tremendously thankful for all the wonderful friends that helped us have such a fantastic time !!